My mentor used to tell her students to look for color first and foremost. Color was, in her eyes, the most powerful of the building blocks. I don’t disagree – except we were all a bit confused as the class was taught entirely in black and white film. But I digress. Her point was that color adds interest, especially when its a rich color that offers so much visual stimulus. This week, we are inspired by a photo from Jean-Baptiste titled Dali’s Window, a photo that just so happens to offer such a rich color.
The red-orange hues of the wall in Baptiste’s photo is enduring and certainly the eye catcher of the shot. Beyond the fact that the color exists in the shot, I am enamored with the character of the wall. The mottling of the paint right down to the faded, worn areas and the texture of the wall offers so much character. The photo as a whole is actually quite simple. The red wash is only broken by two elements, the light fixture and the window. The fixture is uninteresting and so it serves as a visual anchor, nothing less, nothing more. It is the element of this shot that tells us we are still on earth. The window seems like a plain window, but it’s rippled and uneven hand-blown glass distorts the reflections into a swirl of patterns and shapes (which, I presume, is the basis for this work’s title). As much as the window serves as an interesting subject, we are still pulled into the shot thanks only to the red tone of the wall.
Such a photo would be a challenge for many. Simplicity is something that we struggle with frequently as photographers. We often question whether or not a photo is simple enough – rarely do we question inversely to that. As Jean-Baptiste has shown us with Dali’s Window, sometimes the trick to simplicity is simply keeping our minds busy with a little color.
You can find more of Jean-Baptiste’s work through his photostream on Flickr. Much of his work can be categorized as travel photography or landscape photography with a few other experiments mixed in. Browsing his submissions will find you wishing to be displaced to far off lands. We previously featured one of Jean-Baptiste’s works here at Shutter Photo as well, an abstract titled Mosaïque. I think you’ll find many of his photos inspiring.